Unformatted text preview: of matter. What Plato is doing in this passage is called reduction ad absurdum -- reducing his opponents' position to absurdity. In this case, the opponents are the materialists of his day, both atomists (like Democritus) and non-atomists (like Empocles, who believed that matter consisted of continuous fluids). The materialists espoused a principle of evolution that is very similar to that of Darwinism or neo-Darwinism: random movements of matter over time give rise to stable and sometimes very complex structures, including those of living organisms and human society. The materialists denied the need to postulate any sort of principle or power outside those inherent in matter. Since the materialists depend on the existence of motion, Plato can legitimately take that as one of his starting-points or premises. Moreover, the materialists also agree that all motion is caused: they accept that the search for causes is the business of science....
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course PHI PHI2010 taught by Professor Jorgerigol during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.
- Fall '09